Facebook and Link Love–does it work?

One of the first pieces of advice my friend Rod Brown gave me when I told him that I was going to start HIDE A HEART was “be sure to do the viral networking thing.” At the time I only had a private Facebook page and didn’t think much of the medium. But Rod is a very savvy and successful businessman and I have great respect for his advice.

I have known Rod since he was fifteen. He’s always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Rod is the owner/operator of the very successful MADE TO ORDER company, so when Rod speaks, I pay attention! Rod very kindly spent some time challenging me with questions to help me ‘think through’ starting a new business, but I was not to be deterred!

Included in his counsel was some specific action points which included ‘branding’. Once I figured out a logo,  packaging and word-smithed the text used for description, promotion and salutation, and then created the Etsy shop at , I created a HIDE A HEART Facebook Fan page. (BTW ‘figured out’ is a miss-statement—it’s more like a ‘product in progress’, meaning it morphs rather often!)

A really wonderful benefit of being part of the Etsy family is one has access to meeting other Etsians and so it was that after posting a comment in one of the forums I was contacted by Ellen of TurtleTrinkets  and was invited to join a ‘group’ where we would all critique each others shops in an effort to learn and improve our ‘visibility’ and ultimately sales..we hoped!

Sheilah of  was the group member who brought to all of our attention that we should think about including our shop name and link in every email we send, as one way to promote our shops. Of course!  Such a simple and superb idea!

AND, Sheilah told me about LINK LOVE! I think it was very early on when Link Love had just begun, but Sheilah will have to confirm that point.

I run hot and cold on Link Love. It took me about a week of Link Love to realize I needed to create a word doc. with all the links so that I could ‘copy/paste’ otherwise carpal tunnel was going to be fast-tracked in my life! Some days I would look at my inbox and think, “OMGosh…I can’t face it!” Then I would return to spending hours Link Loving like a woman with hair on fire! It’s crossed my mind more than once that it might be a waste of time, but then I remind myself, “You don’t have an advertising budget girl!” and I re-commit myself.

I am a novice biz-woman and in being so, I have anxiety attacks about whether or not I’m doing ENOUGH to get the HIDE A HEART brand out into the world.  I once took a week off from Link Love, but then I read a blog post that said you HAD to Link Love and listed all the reasons why and I began to hyperventilate at all the LOST opportunities!

October is the first anniversary of HIDE A HEART and I think I’m beginning to calm down a little about Link Love. After reading several blog posts about Link Love I finally have a ‘Link Love’ schedule…yes, I only spend a couple of hours a day on Link Love, which has proven to be a relief and a much healthier and time-efficient approach, but let me tell you, I think Link Love is a little like moisturizer…you don’t dare stop using moisturizer because what would you look like???? And what would happen if the Google crawlers didn’t see HIDE A HEART at least a few times a day, hence the Link Love Schedule.

Here’s another thing I’ve also learned with Link Love, it’s good to include both your brand name and the name of the Facebook page you are ‘liking’ in the same post…gives you both a little FREE promo.

One more thing. As part of Link Love you will be ‘following’ blogs and now I have a list of blogs that I have saved in my Favorites list. I check back periodically to see what blog authors are posting through my Google Reader. Today I found this post by the  wonderful Kimi of GrahtoeStudio.

Whenever a blog or anyone on FB, or an article mentions your brand or an Etsy Treasury features one of your products, you have just received the highest compliment so be sure to show gratitude by publicly, and if possible privately, thanking the author.

Additionally, realize you have just been handed a fantastic opportunity for ‘cross-promotion’ gratis! Which is what I have done by including Kimi’s post in the HIDE A HEART blog. Because Kimi’s blog site has FB, Twitter, Email and other buttons it made it easy for me to link her post to my FB home page and the HIDE A HEART INSPIRES EXPRESSION blog  on  ‘Bloggers’ —is that a lot of blog or what?—I’m just saying, cross-promotion, to borrow a coined phrase from the diva of home crafting Marth Stewart, ” is a very good thing.”

And best of all, two days ago I ‘liked’ Roslyn Barbulescu  page and she sent me a private message that she really loved HIDE A HEART and had posted information on her home page! Then, upon near immediacy one of Roslyn’s friends ordered a HIDE A HEART!!!

Borrowing the idea to include FB and Link Love Stats from Runaway Crochet  here are the FB and Link Love Stats Start Date: February 14, 2010

FB Fans: 5       Today, Sept. 5, 2010 : 1085              Etsy Hearts: 20     Today: 260

Etsy Sales before Link Love: 5        Today: 30

So, if you think LINK LOVE is a waste of time….think NO MORE!

Here is an additional list of appreciation for other blogs, FB, Twitter or Articles who have mentioned HIDE A HEART since posting this article.*******

Thank you Rae of Laughing Lane Studios!

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Facebook and Link Love–does it work?

  1. Great post, I was unsure about Link Love when I first started it. But, now I love it, lots of people get to see the videos we do and eventually I will have enough product to start selling something. I have also made some wonderful friendships through Link love.

    Thanks for hitting on such a great topic.

    Kimberly Wade Oh Craft it all!

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Facebook and Link Love–does it work? « HideaHeart's Blog -- Topsy.com

  3. Hi, there! Thanks for the mention – it’s been so much fun getting to know you online. I actually don’t know how long Link Love had been in existence when you and I joined the party. I agree that it seemed very early on. I’ve since cut way back, playing only when someone posts a link on my FB fanpage. Wasted opportunities, I know, but after being blocked twice by FB for spamming because of Link Love, I lost heart (giggle).

    • Hi,
      FB has not blocked me, but your point is well taken and let everyone know they need to exercise some caution.

      FYI: You have become one of the gifts in my life and getting to meet you is high on my list of priorities!
      Have a great holiday!
      MCatherine

  4. great post! I started linklove two weeks ago this past thrusday and went from 150 to now 547 ( as of right now)
    I spend at least 30 minutes a day linking and started going back into some of the longer lists and adding more. I am so glad to hear that your sales picked up, that is what I need:) But I also need word to get out about my studio:)
    thanks for sharing:) http://www.facebook.com/wertmanphoto

  5. MC,
    Thanks for the rundown on Facebook and Link Love. I have never heard of Link Love, so I will have to see what all the excitement is about. Good luck with your business. And thank you for leading the way by sharing what works. Look for me to heart your shop.

    Rae…from Laughing Lane

  6. Very nice! And you’re right… some of us can’t live online doing #LINKLOVE… but it sure does improve SEO and builds a network just waiting for some fine cultivation of potential customers, great friends and fans, too!

  7. Pingback: Life on Mars–HideaHeart Begins 2010 in review earned a WOW! « HideaHeart's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s